This is a story about an amazing opportunity falling out of the sky, and the potential for great things to happen to ordinary people. Upcoming DJ, music producer, and city planner Ryan Hall (known as Soulier in the music world), unexpectedly landed an opportunity in China. On July 5th 2014, Soulier will be performing in front of music lovers on the Electronic Dance Music stage at the popular Strawberry Music Festival In Changsha, Hunan Province in mainland China.
"This is the most random (and biggest) performance opportunity I have ever had in my life! The opportunity just fell out of the sky." Ryan explains how it happened: "I was contacted on Weibo (a Chinese version of social networking similar to Twitter) by a festival organizer who works with a Chinese record company. He asked if I like strawberries and Changsha. I replied, 'sure, I love strawberries and Changsha!' Evidently, there were some minor translation problems while talking to the event organizer online."
Through their correspondence, Ryan quickly learned that his contact was actually referring to the Strawberry Music Festival, which is fast becoming China's most popular outdoor music event of the summer, featuring artists from mainland China and beyond. Their Beijing festival attracts 20,000 people a day. "We just finalized the details, and tickets are booked. I have to keep pinching myself to make sure this isn't a dream - it is actually going to happen. I'm totally blown away that this opportunity has presented itself."
"Calgary has an amazing electronic music scene, and I am honoured to be representing Canada, and Calgary at this festival to show them what Calgary has to offer!".
Ryan wishes his sister and father could be alive to see this coming together. "After they were gone, I just gave up. For years. No music. Depression. It was awful. Then, over and over again, I remembered how my sister told me to keep doing it [music]. I did. Then, my brother found love in China. Then the strawberry festival happened".
Ryan's sister-in-law, from mainland China, will accompany him on the journey to Changsha.
"This experience is proof that opportunities are limitless. Anything can happen if you put yourself out there," says Ryan.
Since getting the festival date, a community made up of friends and family are coming together in support of his show in China.
Ryan announced a new EP called China Life on May 28th 2014, at Habitat Living Sound in Calgary, Canada. The EP was inspired by the opportunity to perform in Changsha, and showcases Soulier's music, and other Calgary electronic artists.
You can visit www.soulier.ca to learn more about his music and upcoming shows, and his travels via facebook, twitter, and instagram. Soulier is an electronic dance music artist based in Calgary, Alberta. He writes in variety of genres including trance, tech house, and deep house.